The Latest Word From Jon
This is a brief from Jack’s time in Cape Town.
Charlie Leman honoured me with a chat at the launch of the second in the Jack Muir trilogy, To the Highlands. I asked him to attend the launch because he had spent time in Papua New Guinea. He spoke well of that book and now he has honoured this one. I’ve not been to Africa, … Continue reading A friend’s review
Great year to release a book, she said. I laughed. I needed a laugh. Clearly, it is not a year for book releases – no launches, no public appearances, no signings. Doesn’t matter if it was the best book you ever wrote, the one to get you in the literary hall of fame. Anyway, there … Continue reading The year of the book
A Seriously Good Read
Jack Muir is restless, an adventurer, idealist and dreamer.
He flees Genoralup, the stiﬂing country town where his future was assured, to jump ship and certain danger in Durban, South Africa, and then ﬂy to uncertain danger and a kibbutz in Israel.
From a country full of hate and violence to the place he will meet his first love, it is a war and the unexpected gift of two mothers that will change the course of Jack’s life…
As an old man Jack makes a pilgrimage that helps him rediscover the brotherhood of the kibbutzniks – it is the return ticket that helps him understand the true meaning of love at journey’s end.
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Available March 2020 from Fremantle Press
What makes this book unputdownable is the way despite the risks, Jack refuses to comply with apartheid laws…
An unforgettable book.Lisa Hall, ANZ LitLovers LitBlog, January 2020
It is 1968. All around the world people are marching, protesting, fighting for freedom and free love. Jack Muir arrives in the islands fresh out of Grammar School: a failure, a virgin, and a reluctant employee of The Colonial Bank of Australia.
Life in the islands is raw, sensuous, real. Here, you may take what you want, especially if you are white. But the veneer of whiteness is a flimsy one, and brutality never far from the surface.
To be free, you must set free. So says George Kanluna, future leader of the islands. Yet there is a world of difference between freedom, and those things you unleash in others – and in yourself.
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Depicting the full spectrum of adolescent alienation, this engaging, coming-of-age narrative is a humorous blend of novel and memoir. A sensitive, quick-witted boy from a small town, Jack Muir adores his mother, yearns for affection from his father, and lives in the shadow of his accomplished brother. Sent to a boarding school at a young age, Jack must quickly decide what sort of person he will be—the type that succumbs to the pressure of bullies and the school system or the type that fights back, using clever banter and intellect to get by. With a unique and authentic voice, this darkly humorous tale portrays the road to depression as seen through the naiveté of youth.
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And don’t forget his earlier novels for younger readers, two books he co-wrote with Ken Spillman.
Magpie Mischief is a delightfully irreverent story about a group of school kids who gang together and take on the City Council to protect the magpies nesting in the trees outside their school. The pro-magpie and anti-magpie lobbies lock horns in a hilarious story that will appeal to 8-10 year old readers, and while entertaining them will acquaint them with conservation and empowerment issues, and suggest invative ways of coping with school bullies.
Trouble is brewing in the Shire of Serventy. Hoons in hotted up cars have started treating the roads around the primary school like a racing circuit. A gate is snapped clean off its hinges. The oval is pripped raw by drag racers..
Anything could happen in this second exciting Serventy Kids adventure – and it probably will!